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Thoughts on "Cinderella" (2015)

It's kind of a waste for me to write about Kenneth Branagh's 2015 telling of Cinderella.  It's a movie I don't care about based on a fairy tale I don't care about intended for an audience that I'm not part of.  But since I have a daughter and I'll no doubt be watching various adaptations of the story throughout the next two decades, I guess it at least works as a chance for me to pre-screen one of her many options.

I'm not even going to bother giving it a proper review.  What's the point?  Hey, do you like the story of Cinderella?  Then you'll probably like this; it's the story of Cinderella.


I'll leave it to Cinderella fans to determine whether or not this particular version works.  I have to assume fairy tale fans watch movies like this with the same fervor and perspective as action fans like myself.  The rest of the world looks at a Liam Neeson thriller and says, "What, another one?  It's just the same damn thing."  And then I have to shake my head and say, "Nuh-uh, in this one he's on a plane.  It's totally different."  I guess fairy tale fans are probably like, "Nuh-uh, this is the one with a corrupt general who's making a power play after the death of the king.  It's totally different."

So let me ignore the movie for now and talk about something tangentially related.

Growing older is a strange thing.  Each year that passes, I get a better sense of context and I realize more and more how much of a presumptuous little brat I was as a kid / young adult.  But at the same time, I find myself growing less and less patient, which is a huge problem - I don't want to be the cantankerous old grump who sneers at things that are new or different.

So here's the challenge with Cinderella.  Leaving aside what I said before about action movies, this is just a totally redundant movie to me.  It's yet another adaptation of what is a pretty mundane story.  But the only reason I think that is because I'm 32 years old and have seen the story play out dozens of times.

My daughter doesn't have that same perspective.  Everything is new and fresh to her.  It's entirely possible that this might be the first version of the Cinderella story she ever commits to memory, and if she likes it, it will be the benchmark by which all other Cinderellas are compared.  That kind of attraction to a movie is - pardon the expression - magical.  I don't want to get in the way of that.

So that's the challenge for me.  How do I continue to grow older and see more movies and not be a judgmental jerk about other people's attitudes?  Sure, I might look at this as "just another," but there are now and will be others who see it as "the first" or even "the only."

I guess what I'm getting at is that Cinderella reminded me that no matter what my opinions might be, patience is a virtue that requires constant vigilance.  That's something to keep in mind when I'm 80 years old and still voting.

And now...

Burning Questions About Cinderella (2015)


Why do they act like it's so sad that Cinderella has to live in the attic when the attic is like 1600 square feet, has 18-foot high vaulted ceilings, and has the best view in the mansion?

For that matter, why does the staircase to the attic look like it goes up six stories?  What exactly is the function of that wing of their mansion, and why doesn't it look like a tower from the outside?

Why doesn't Helena Bonham Carter try any more?

Why was Cate Blanchett given those scenes toward the end where it looked like they were going to humanize her or ground her in some semblance of reality if she was just going to end up being a whackjob villain?

If the kingdom is on the verge of financial ruin without a strong marriage to secure land and commerce, wouldn't the Prince's marriage to Cinderella be a catalyst for civil war?  Why would you even bother to mention that if you were going to just ignore it, especially if you're going to show the prince launch a costly and invasive kingdom-wide investigation to search for her?

If "Cinderella" was the cruel, insulting nickname that her step-sisters gave to her after they forced her to sleep in ash for a night, why would she introduce herself to the Prince by that name instead of just saying, "The name's Ella, bitches?"  That's like if Robocop ended with them saying, "What's your name?" and Murphy went, "Robocop."